This has been a question stuck in my mind for several years. A crime happens, Law Enforcement spend time and resources on a case. But new crimes continue. At some point the choice of where manpower is put has to become a priority. Cold cases can remain cold for many years. Sometimes it is pure coincidence that rekindles the fire.

That was certainly the case with the 1981 unsolved double homicide of Chicago area bar owner Ronald Scharff and his waitress Patricia Freeman. This was no random act of violence, it was an execution. This case was solved 27 years later by an unlikely source. Author Dennis N. Griffin (Denny to his friends) collaborated on a book with ex-mobster Frank Cullotta. Frank was not involved with the murders, but one single page of the book struck a chord with someone that remembered them all too well. Two paragraphs in the book were enough to force the case to be reopened. The killer was found, unfortunately the killer had died a number of years ago, but for son Paul Scharff there was a small amount of closure to the story.

Sometimes though, cold cases reach even further back. Earlier this week my wife Jan heard about one that was 50 years old! Two children 7 year old Diana Moon Yoli and 3 year old Mark Eugene Yoli disappeared. As with many cases there were suspicions, but little hard evidence.

This story is worth reading. It may be five decades later, but in some small way justice may well have been served.

Simon Barrett

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